Welcome to National Hurricane Preparedness Week!
Every year, National Hurricane Preparedness Week gives people the chance to share information about hurricane risk. Our contribution this year is to let you know what’s in store hurricane season 2022. That’s knowledge you can use to identify your risk and better protect your home and family.
Hurricane Season 2022: Overview
The first extended range estimate from the Colorado State University (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project came out on April 7, 2022, and it predicts above-normal activity for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season in the form of:
- 19 named storms.
- 9 hurricanes.
- 4 major hurricanes.
Scientists at CSU add that a shift from the current La Niña cycle to an El Niño is unlikely. El Niño cycles often produce below-normal hurricane seasons.These predictions are an increase from the project’s earlier projection of 13 to 16 named storms and six to eight hurricanes. CSU plans to issue updates on June 2, July 7, and August 4.
May 25, 2022 - UPDATE - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its prediction for hurricane season 2022 , forecasting a 65 percent chance for above-normal activity. NOAA also predicts:
- 14 to 21 named storms.
- 6 to 10 hurricanes.
- 3 to 6 major hurricanes.
How Does Hurricane Season 2022 Compare to Last Year?
At the start of the 2021 season, the CSU team correctly predicted above-average hurricane activity , anticipating:
- 17 named storms.
- 8 hurricanes.
- 4 major hurricanes.
The team increased its projections in subsequent updates to 18 named storms. In the end, the season ended with 21 named storms and seven hurricanes, with four falling into the major hurricane category.
More Hurricanes for the Northern US?
Another interesting statistic from CSU’s Tropical Meteorology Project: Just 40 years ago, only 12 percent of hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions hit these states. Now about 16 percent are expected to make landfall in the northern US each year.
The statistic appears to jibe with a recent study published in Nature Geoscience that predicts more storms will reach midlatitude regions, or areas located between 30° and 60° latitude. This means cities that don’t often see named storms, like New York, Boston, and Baltimore, may need to prepare for hurricanes in 2022 and beyond.
Hurricanes and Climate Change
We may be in for another above-average hurricane season in 2022, but according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), scientists haven’t connected the dots between the number of hurricanes and climate change . But the data does suggest that we are in for more intense hurricanes because sea levels and surface temperatures are rising.
Climate change, however, might be the reason more cities outside of the traditional hurricane zone may suffer through more storms. According to C2ES, hurricanes’ migration towards both poles may be the result of rising global temperatures. Plus, the lead author of the Nature Geoscience study stated in a press release that this shift as “an important, under-estimated risk of climate change.”
How to Prepare for Hurricane Season 2022
The key to preparing for any potential problem is knowing your chance of experiencing a hurricane. This may be even more important now as more cities appear to have increased hurricane risk.
Once you understand if you’re likely to see a hurricane, you can develop a plan to help you weather the storm. For example, you want to prepare a hurricane plan that includes steps like:
- Drawing up an evacuation route.
- Putting together an evacuation kit.
- Purchasing essential supplies if you need to shelter in place.
You also want to think about ways you can make your home more resilient, such as buying hurricane shutters or trimming tree branches. Josh Skolnick of Mighty Dog Roofing recommends taking the time to “regularly check and maintain your roof as a preemptive measure.” Doing this can minimize your chances of suffering water damage.
Another part of your hurricane preparedness plan is to review your home insurance policy to make sure you have the coverage you need. Home insurance, for example, often covers damage caused by hurricane winds, but water damage from an external source is usually excluded. This may mean you need flood insurance as well.